French performance artist and poet Julien Blaine was born as Christian Poitevin in Rognac in 1942. Already at the age of twenty he published his first poetry magazine Les Carnets de l’Octéor and turned to action poetry with his piece Rep éléphant 306, in which he interviewed a circus elephant, two years earlier than Michael McClure’s famous poetry reading to lions. In 1976 Blaine launched Doc(k)s, an international magazine which brought to light and documented new directions in poetry. Apart from his pioneering magazines and performances, Blaine organised leading poetry festivals and events in Marseille and Lodève in the 1980s and 1990s. He abandoned action poetry the next decade, instead turning his creative output to confrontational demonstr’actions and déclar’actions which focus – often in collaboration with other artists – on physical and lingual poetic interventions. Throughout his work Blaine uncompromisingly explores the bare essence of poetry, its impact on the audience and its function in society. For several years now he has published his revolutionary poetic research in his magazine Les Cahiers de la 5e feuille.
Slowscan Vol. 60 brings together eleven pieces by Blaine under the title Extravagant Circus of the Mouth. Beautifully designed by Johnny Van de Koolwijk the album manages to bring across and document Blaine’s explorations of poetry as a powerful human creation. The album comes in a colourful offset printed sleeve with a double-sided insert. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the show!